Imagine calling an Uber to go to the movies and finding out that law enforcement knows who you are, where you are, where you are going and when you arrived at your destination.
This is no fairy tale because Uber’s partnership with RapidSOS will allow law enforcement to know everything about you in real-time.
But RapidSOS does much more than just locate people.
The above video offers a disturbing look into data collection and real-time surveillance without a warrant inside “connected homes” and “connected cars.”
The Chronicle article reveals that Uber and RapidSOS “shares its location data — collected by Apple and Google for their in-house map apps — free of charge to public safety agencies.”
Apps are notorious for spying on people; last month alone there were at least four stories about apps revealing users personal information.
Hostpot Finder exposed 2 million passwords, a hacker revealed how he can remotely control cars using their GPS app and a mental health app that shares your personal data with private companies. Finally, and perhaps most disturbing, was a BuzzFeed story that revealed how thousands of popular apps could be revealing people’s private information.
A Google search of “apps that spy on users” returned more than 40 million hits. so one would do well to question Apple and Google’s involvement.
Uber and RapidSOS can track passengers in real-time
The article goes on to say that RapidSOS “real-time tracking will also extend to Uber riders and drivers.”
And California’s Department of Energy Management (DOEM) is elated to be able track them.
As soon as they say they’re in an Uber, dispatchers can query the information,” said Eric Gornitsky, a public safety supervisor at the DOEM. The company then sends driver and rider information, travel route, vehicle description and current location to dispatchers.
Let that sink in for a moment; the DOEM, which has strong ties to Homeland Security, now has access to real-time passenger information, without a warrant. What could possibly go wrong?
But what if the passenger doesn’t have the RapidSOS app but Uber forces drivers to use it? See above, and kiss your privacy goodbye.
This a privacy nightmare waiting to happen, especially when it goes national.
I will leave you with this gem of a quote from Gornitsky, “Our dispatch center is becoming a leader at the forefront of the tech process.”
What he really should say is that DOEM and DHS are at the forefront of real-time spying on Uber passengers and drivers.
Why do I think it will go national? Because a press release from 2017 revealed that three former FCC chairmen have joined in funding $14 million for RapidSOS.
There are so many shady characters involved in this story, one has to wonder if RapidSOS is a front company for the Feds.
Image credit: Pixabay
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